Spotlight on Specials

First Quarter

Fifth Grade .................. Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


​In Fifth Grade, we started out the year reviewing the basics and the Acceptable Use Policy.
Our first project is focused on the Scientific Method. We learned how to create a flow chart in Inspiration software to map our progress through out the experiment. Our main objective was to create a case design that would protect a raw egg from a drop as tall as our school building. We began the unit brainstorming what prior knowledge we had about materials and designs. Then we started our research in groups. Students utilized various type of online media to find out what other students had done in the past as well as their results. Based upon our findings we created a hypothesis and a plan to create the perfect design. After our designs are built we will test them out. Be on the lookout for a volunteer opportunity in computers!


Fifth grade students started the quarter playing “Beat Detective” to practice playing a steady beat and leading a group in musical performance. We expanded our knowledge of rhythm to include various sixteenth note patterns. Students composed a rhythmic ostinato to accompany a nursery rhyme. They added creative movement and performed for the class. Seeing these kind of class performances are one of my favorite parts of my job! Time was also spent singing in parts to create harmony, and singing in rounds. While singing to create harmony, students learned more about solfege (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do). Throughout the 2nd quarter, 5th graders will be starting to make decisions about their program and fine-tuning their instrument playing skills! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


In our library classes we reviewed rules and appropriate behavior in the library, identified ways to care for our books, and discussed the proper use of shelf markers. We also discussed our safety procedures at RE, where we would go, and what our jobs are. We talked about different acronyms to help us in choosing a “good fit” book such as “I PICK” and “CAN IT BE FOR ME?” We took a look at the nominees for the William Allen White Award. Students are encouraged to participate in the William Allen White Reading Program for 3rd-5th graders by reading books off the lists. Students are able to vote on the book they want to win the WAW award as well as read some different authors they might not have read otherwise. More information is available on my website at:

Physical Education

The first few weeks of school were focused on the structure of the class and implementing/practicing our warm-up activities and signals. Students have learned new warm-ups such as Restaurant Race, Turtle Tag, and Clean Your Room.

We then worked on cooperative activities; games and challenges where students have to work with one another to complete a task. We were able to play games such as Yogurt River, Beanbag Bash, Star Wars, Circle Run, Prairie Dog Pickoff, and Aerobic Bowling. Students spent a lot of time in small groups and teams to work together. The students are really working hard to make sure they are being respectful, responsible and have good sportsmanship. And of course, we hope to have fun!

We also learn a “Word of the Week” – a word that is important in Physical Education. The words we have learned so far are: exercise, cooperation, competition, pace, humility, and accuracy.

We are finishing up our soccer unit. I am very impressed with the talent each student possesses! We have learned many skills, such as toe taps, trapping, passing, “tic-tocs”, and dribbling. We have been able to play mini soccer games, sideline soccer, and bowling pin soccer. We also completed the pacer test. The pacer test is a running test that students will complete at the end of each quarter. I am looking forward to the rest of the year!


To kick off the school year, all students created a self-portrait. The self-portraits were made in different colors so that we could create a school-wide rainbow self-portrait mural. The mural is on display in the cafeteria & it looks fantastic!

During the first quarter of art, students completed two projects. During the first lesson, fifth grade students learned about an artist named Peter Anton. Anton is famous for creating sculptures of sweet treats. After viewing & analyzing his work, student created their own sculptures of a cake slice. Each student was given two pieces of paper & had to figure out how to fold the paper into a triangular prism. Next, students paper mached the sided of the cake using construction paper & paste. Their cakes were frosted with a mixture of shaving cream, glue, food coloring. Topping & decorations were made from a variety of materials. Next, Mr. Case, our student teacher, taught the students about crests and how to create a metal relief. First, students designed their own crests by incorporating a personal & family symbol. Students discovered that symbols are a logo or image that visual represent an idea or concept. The crest & symbols were draw on to a piece of foil. After the crest was drawn, students colored the foil with permanent markers.


In guidance with Ms. Munsey this quarter we started with getting to know you activities and understanding the role of the school counselor. We also focused on the character trait RESPECT. We spent much of our time discussing and understanding how to be considerate of other people’s feelings and tolerant of differences. During the first quarter we also celebrate Peace Week and Red Ribbon week. During peace week I taught students how to deal with their problems in a peaceful respectful way. We discussed strategies, reporting, and the definition of bullying behavior. Red Ribbon week is October 26th through the 30th. I will be teaching students the importance of healthy choices and good decision making.

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